Heritiera littoralis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Heritiera littoralis Aiton

Protologue: Hort. kew. 3: 546 (1789).

Synonyms

  • Heritiera minor (Gaertner) Lamk (1797).

Vernacular names

  • Looking-glass tree (En).
  • Brunei: itik-itikan
  • Indonesia: dungon (general), dungun kecil (Kalimantan)
  • Malaysia: dungun (general), dungut laut (Sabah)
  • Philippines: dungon-late (Pilipino)
  • Burma: pinle-kanazo
  • Cambodia: khleay
  • Thailand: khai khwai (Krabi), duhun (Trang), ngonkai-thale (central, Surat Thani)
  • Vietnam: cây cui, cui bien.

Distribution

Eastern Africa, southern Asia from India to southern China and to tropical Australia, Hawaii and New Caledonia; throughout Malesia.

Uses

The timber is used as dungun. It is excellent firewood, having a high energy value. Moreover, the wood is suitable for the production of wrapping, writing, and printing paper. The bark contains tannin and is used for toughening fishing nets. An extract from the seeds is used medicinally in cases of diarrhoea and dysentery. The seeds are occasionally eaten. In the Philippines the roots are used as a fish poison.

Observations

  • A medium-sized evergreen tree, up to 25 m tall, but usually much less, with usually twisted and stunted bole up to 40(-60) cm in diameter, buttresses thin, wavy, extending far out.
  • Leaves simple, silvery scaly beneath, petioles 0.5-1(-2) cm long, stout.
  • Panicles lax, up to 18 cm long.
  • Fruit ellipsoid, with a rudder-like ridge, glabrous and glossy.

H. littoralis grows in the inland zone of mangrove swamps, and it is common in many places. The wood often smells like leather. The density of the wood is 830-1040 kg/m3 at 15% moisture content. See also the table on wood properties.

Selected sources

33, 35, 48, 67, 89, 100, 119, 146, 175, 190, 378, 385, 438, 484, 486, 579, 703, 735, 779.

Main genus page

Authors

  • R.H.M.J. Lemmens (selection of species)